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Sheppard Mullin Forms Organizational Integrity Group To Help Clients Identify And Resolve Reputational Threats


Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP is pleased to announce the launch of its Organizational Integrity Group (OIG) to offer clients a values-driven, holistic approach to identify, solve and defend against complex reputational threats. Sheppard Mullin’s OIG consists of highly specialized attorneys with experience counseling companies through complex and public-facing legal and reputational challenges.

“The OIG was formed from our collective experiences guiding clients through unprecedented and high-profile legal, organizational and reputational crises,” said Jonathan Aronie, a founding member of Sheppard Mullin’s OIG and leader of the firm’s Government Contracts, Investigations and International Trade practice group. “Our decades of experience have shown us that most problems complex organizations encounter require an intentional, sophisticated and holistic approach to identify their root causes and implement solutions that are practical, effective and, ultimately, sustainable.”

David Douglass, also a founding member of the OIG and managing partner of the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, added, “In today’s digital world, organizations are under a microscope like never before. Often a legal issue can go viral and quickly pose a threat to the organization’s reputation. Whether we are working with an organization to anticipate and mitigate risks before they arise or to respond to a threat after it materializes, we address the problem holistically. We consider the perspectives of the organization’s many stakeholders, including employees, customers, business partners, government agencies and the public. We then employ a values-driven approach to protect the organization’s reputation by crafting solutions that align with its mission, vision and obligations.”

Members of Sheppard Mullin’s OIG have decades of experience helping domestic and multinational organizations, including public and private companies, boards of directors, government agencies and academic institutions respond to the full range of threats to their organizational integrity, such as public crises, compliance failures, investigations and litigation. For instance, members of the group have been tapped to serve as judicially-appointed monitors responsible for overseeing the New Orleans Police Department’s compliance with a Federal Consent Decree; lead the independent investigation and report on academic irregularities at the University of North Carolina; lead the Big 12 Conference’s investigation of Baylor University and its implementation of the 105 recommendations made by the law firm that investigated its response to Title IX allegations, and lead two Treasury Department investigations of its law enforcement agencies. 

The OIG has deep experience working with clients to protect against reputational threats before they occur by crafting tailored internal compliance programs, conducting risk-based compliance audits and facilitating “legal pre-mortems” (one of many unique methods for identifying risk areas before problems occur). When engaged after a problem has arisen, the OIG performs thorough internal investigations to best position the organization for a strategic resolution, develops practical resolution strategies, negotiates with outside entities such as government enforcement authorities or non-government stakeholders and, where necessary, defends the organization in litigation. Each of these efforts is seamlessly connected to the organization’s mission, business objectives and culture, ensuring a multi-disciplined approach to problem solving that is practical, thoughtful and values-driven.

In addition to partners Aronie and Douglass, the group’s founding members include partners A. Joseph Jay, III, Scott Maberry, Bill Mateja, Fatema Merchant and Reid Whitten and special counsel David Fischer.

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